How To Make Simple Potato Salad

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Which Potatoes Are Best For Salad

How to Make Easy Potato Salad – The Easiest Way

Waxy or floury that is the question.

  • Waxy potatoes in heritage varieties such as pink fir apple have an attractive nutty flavour and firm bite, though they can be quite expensive.
  • Floury potatoes are more likely to break down and fray when tossed during the dressing process, but if this is your desired effect, go with it.
  • Alternatively, you could veer leftfield and choose sweet potatoes instead, but be mindful of matching dressing and additions accordingly.

Verdict: Waxy, red-skinned or new potatoes for more traditional potato salads, but sweet potatoes work harder in the flavour stakes.

Should Potatoes Be Peeled

The pros for leaving the skin on your potatoes are manifold theyll give texture, an earthy flavour and added fibre to your salad, as well as saving you effort. But it all depends on your potato choice new potatoes are great for eating unpeeled as their skin is smooth and subtle, but larger, floury potatoes have heavier skin that sometimes requires scrubbing, so these are best peeled.

Likewise, the skin of sweet potatoes is thick and chewy in parts. Whatever your preference, remember that leaving the skin on any kind of potato wont do you any harm.

Verdict? Unpeeled to give the salad another dimension.

Ingredients In Easy Potato Salad

This list is going to be pretty short, nice and easy right?

  • Potatoes I used Yukon gold as theyre perfect for this recipe.
  • Eggs I use hard-boiled eggs for texture and extra creaminess.
  • Celery Celery is a low-calorie vegetable that offers a range of health benefits. I personally like to slice my celery very small. You can cut them as small or large as you want, but in my opinion its a must for that bit of crunchiness.
  • Onion I used a medium onion. White onion works best as its mild and crunchy.
  • Pickle Sweet pickle relish is what I like to use but feel free to use whichever kind if your favorite.
  • Mayonnaise I love using a good organic mayonnaise. If youd like to make your own Ive included instructions how in the tips section below.
  • Mustard This adds an extra kick of flavor as well as a bit of color. I usually use Dijon mustard in my recipes, but when it comes to potato salad, regular yellow mustard wins.
  • Spices such as fresh dill, salt and pepper.

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How To Make Best Potato Salad

Making the best potato salad is really easy.

  • First, boil the peeled potatoes. In a separate pot, boil the eggs.
  • While potatoes are boiling, chop the celery and green onions, and make the dressing by combining mayo, mustard and sweet pickle relish.
  • Next, cut potatoes into pieces and drizzle with vinegar.
  • Peel and chop the eggs and add to the potatoes.
  • Add the chopped celery and green onions to the potatoes, then add the dressing and mix until combined.
  • Add salt and pepper to taste and sprinkle with paprika.

Thats it! Your best ever potato salad is ready!

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    How Long To Boil The Eggs

    • Put up a pot of water to boil. Once the waters boiling, use a large spoon to gently lower the eggs into the water. Bring the water to a boil over medium heat and let eggs cook for 9 to 12 minutes, depending on the size. If using very fresh eggs, add 1 teaspoon of salt to the water to help the eggs peel easier.
    • Once ready, drain the hot water and run cold water over the eggs until the shells are cold. Theyre ready to peel!

    Why You’re Going To Love This Recipe

    I grew up having potato salad as a side dish at every bbq. The one my mother made was made with mint and quite yummy, but the main ingredient was storebought potato salad dressing, something which I don’t use. Instead, using mayonnaise you have more control over the contents of the potato salad.

    My kids like this, although in all honesty, Master 8 would never admit it. He put up such a show of hating it this week, but then stole half the portion I was eating as leftovers! Here’s why you’ll love it too:

    • quick and easy to make
    • 5 ingredients- so nothing difficult!
    • perfect flavours for a bbq
    • the kids can make it
    • make it in advance- you can prep it the night before, meaning you look like the host with the most when the guests turn up
    • travels well for when you have to bring something to a bbq

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    The Best Potatoes To Use

    Small, waxy, and thin-skinned potatoes are best for potato salad. Small yellow, white or red potatoes are perfect . They are quick-cooking, and since they are already small, theres no need to chop them before cooking them.

    Leave the potatoes whole. Whole cooked potatoes maintain more of their flavor and natural sweetness. Were also partial to the texture of potatoes when they are cooked whole compared to chopped.

    If you dont have small, waxy potatoes available, other potatoes will work in their place the texture will be slightly different. We try not to use russet potatoes since they tend to fall apart. If thats all you have, dont worry. Chop them before cooking they are much larger and take a long time when cooked whole.

    Are Boiled Or Roasted Potatoes Better

    How to Make Potato Salad | EASY & HEALTHY RECIPE

    Boiling is the quicker and simpler option, but roasting allows you to introduce flavour from the beginning. Ingredients added during roasting will lend a helping hand to amp up your dressing go for cloves of garlic, rosemary, lemon, anchovies or pancetta. Plus, less of the flavour will leach from the potatoes, and the crispy edges provide a satisfying chew.

    If you prefer boiling, try adding garlic cloves to your water. By the time the potatoes are cooked, the insides of the garlic will be soft enough to mush into a paste, which can then be added to mayonnaise or dressing. Its not as intense as you may think the flavour of boiled garlic is mellow and sweet.

    Verdict? Both wed boil our potatoes to start with, then finish them in the oven.

    Compare our new potato & sundried tomato salad with our roast potato & radish salad.

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    Potato Salad Shopping List:

    • Red potatoes or any waxy potato you have available
    • Mayonnaise I prefer real mayo, not light, fat-free, or other combinations that are not the real deal.
    • Sour cream adding sour cream to the salad helps make the dressing lighter, as mayo can sometimes be heavy by itself.
    • Hard-boiled eggs a good potato salad has hard-boiled eggs, and I agree that eggs make the salad creamier and more satisfying.
    • Celery stalks the celery adds a beautiful texture to the salad, and I love it in this recipe.
    • Red onion this can be replaced with green onions if you like them.
    • Red bell pepper
    • Mustard yellow mustard is perfectly acceptable
    • White vinegar I added white vinegar, but I also use apple cider vinegar when available.
    • Salt is always the magic ingredient that gives flavor to the potatoes
    • Sugar for the ones who think sugar is not good for you, I agree. However, we use it in the recipe just to balance the flavors, and we use only half a teaspoon of it.
    • Ground pepper


    • Herbs dill, parsley, tarragon, all work well on this salad. However, dont overpower the taste of the salad with them. Add a little of one and see how you like it. For example, some of these herbs, like tarragon, are a bit strong, so make sure you dont add too much unless you are really into them.

    What Our Readers Are Saying

    If you dont believe that our recipe helps you achieve the best homemade potato salad, take a look at what our readers are saying about the recipe! More reviews are in the comments section below.

    Ive made this so many times!! Always so yummy and a big hit with even the pickiest eaters!! Pam

    Best potato salad ever!! Melinda

    Excellent. Tastes delicious! Its so much better than the potato salad purchased at the store. LouAnn

    I LOVED this potato salad! Paula

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    How To Store & Serve Potato Salad

    This style of potato salad is meant to be served cold. So if you are making the day-of, we recommend getting an early enough start to allow it chill out in the fridge for a few hours.

    If properly stored in a resealable container, potato salad will last for up to 5 days in a refrigerator or cooler . So this is a perfect side dish to make before a weekend camping trip or BBQ and toss in your cooler.

    To serve, sprinkle the top with a light dusting of paprika. Want to dropkick this potato salad to all the way to next Sunday? Top with crumbled bacon.

    How To Boil Potatoes So They Come Out Perfect:

    Instant Pot Potato Salad

    First of all, I am a fan of organic potatoes. As a root vegetable, potatoes absorb all of the pesticides, herbicides, and insecticides sprayed above the ground and eventually make their way into the soil.

    Apparently, the poor potatoes are sprayed with over 30 different pesticides during the growing season, so, no, thank you!

    I will take the organic ones anytime if possible!

    Step 1.Clean the potatoes with a brush underwater.

    Make sure you remove any spots and dirt from the skin.

    Step 2. Place them in a pot and cover them with cold water.

    Add salt, usually about 1 1/2 teaspoons per quart of water.

    Salt is necessary, because it adds flavor to the potatoes. Dont be afraid to use it.

    Step 3. Boil the potatoes

    Boil them until tender, between 8-15 minutes depending on their size. Potatoes are cooked when you can push a fork through the center. Drain the water, and let them cool.

    Remove the skin and chop them like bite size.

    If you like the skin on the potato, keep it. The skin has a lot of fiber, and it is very nutritional and good for you, especially if the potatoes are organic.

    If the potatoes are not organic, I recommend peeling them.

    Note: If you choose to cut the potatoes in cubes, boil them only for 5-6 minutes, or until they cook through. Try to not over cook them, as they will fall apart.

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    How To Make The Best Potato Salad Recipe

    1) The key to making the best potato salad is to use starchy potatoes and let them get really soft, so they are partially mashed once mixed. This gives the recipe a rustic, yet thick and luxurious quality. I like to use Yukon Gold or Klondike Goldust potatoes. You can also use Russet potatoes if you like. Do not use new potatoes, because they hold their shape too well and will leave the dressing soupy.

    Start the potatoes in cold water and bring them to a boil to ensure even cooking. Make sure to salt the boiling water so the salty flavor gets deep down in the potatoes.

    Once the potatoes are soft, drain off the water and peel off the skins. You can leave some of the skins on if you like the added texture.

    Chop the potatoes when they are soft this saves time on the peeling and chopping.

    2) Next, mix all the dressing ingredients together. Use your favorite mayonnaise as the base.

    I know better than to tell you what brand to useMayonnaise is an intensely personal condiment!

    Here in the Carolinas, we use Dukes Mayonnaise, but mom usually uses Hellmanns. You can even go with Miracle Whip if that is your favorite.

    Mix a large amount of sweet pickle relish into the dressing.

    Use the good quality refrigerated relish that tastes fresh, has large chunks, and stays firm. Otherwise, the dense ultra-sweet shelved variety might overwhelm the flavor of the dressing.

    If you cant find good relish, finely dice firm refrigerated sweet pickles instead.

    What You Need To Make This Recipe

    Potatoes you can use baby red or yukon gold potatoes. Waxy potatoes are ideal. I do not recommend swapping for russet potatoes as they are starchier, so theyll fall apart as you toss them with the rest of the ingredients. Select potatoes that are similar in size as you want them to cook evenly.

    Bacon do not swap for pre-cooked bacon crisps as you need the grease from the bacon to cook the onions and dressing. The bacon fat adds a ton of flavor that is hard to replicate with a substitution. If you can, use a thicker cut of bacon.

    Chicken broth using chicken broth in the dressing adds much more flavor than water. You can use regular chicken broth or low sodium chicken broth. Vegetable and beef broth is an excellent alternative if you are out of chicken broth.

    Vinegar white vinegar adds a tangy flavor that German-style potato salad is known for. Alternatively, you can use white wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar.

    Sugar you only need a bit of sugar to help balance out the acidity from the vinegar.

    Dijon mustard Dijon mustard adds flavor and creaminess to the dressing. If you can find German mustard, that is a great swap.

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    How To Cook Potatoes For Potato Salad

    One of the biggest potato salad controversies is do you cut potatoes before boiling for potato salad? My mom says, no.

    My mom cooks her potatoes whole with the skin on. I follow her lead, or will quarter them before cooking. The other method to cooking the potatoes is peeling and cutting the potatoes before cooking as suggested in the comments below. But, my mom says that method allows the potatoes to absorb more water, and so I do what mama says.

    To cook the potatoes, add them to cold water and bring to a boil and reduce to medium heat, rather than adding the potatoes to hot, boiling water. Boil the potatoes until fork tender and the skin just begins to crack, about 20-25 minutes.

    Another cooking method a reader suggests is steaming the potatoes in 1 inch of water for 30 minutes, which works too. Just be sure to watch you dont boil your water away and burn the pan.

    How To Boil The Potatoes

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    Boil your potatoes whole, skin on, in a pot of unsalted water. Not only does this approach require the least amount of effort, but it also yields the best potato salad texture.

    Thats because you want to limit the amount of water the potatoes absorb during the boiling process. Water absorbed into the potato will eventually release once everything cools down. This can lead to one of the most common potato salad issues: a watery salad.

    So leave the potatoes whole, skins on, and skip the salt for now .

    Potatoes should boil for approximately 30 minutes, depending on the size of your potatoes. You will know the potatoes are done when the outside skin starts to split and they are easily pierced with a fork.

    When you think theyre done, remove the largest potato and cut it in half with a knife. If center is still hard, put it back in the water and continue boiling. Dont dump your water until youre confident all the potatoes are cooked through.

    Err on the side of overcooking: for potato salad, slightly overdone potatoes are vastly preferable than slightly underdone potatoes.

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    Picking The Right Potatoes

    The potatoes you use will make all the difference in the texture of your salad. Some cooks prefer waxy potatoes such as Yellow Finn, Yukon Gold, and red potatoes because they hold their shape when they’re cooked and keep their firm texture in the salad when they’re chopped up and tossed with dressing.

    Russet or Idaho potatoes have a drier, starchier texture and tend to break down during cooking, chopping, and tossing with dressing. But that’s not necessarily a bad thing. This kind of potato soaks up dressing like a sponge and tends to yield a softer, creamier potato salad. Read up on how to choose the right potato for the recipe.

    Tater Tip: Potatoes can add color highlights to your salad. Red potatoes are red on the outside and creamy white on the inside, while purple potatoes hold their color all the way through. You can also use sweet potatoes to add a cheerful touch of orange, as in this Caribbean Sweet Potato Salad.

    Related: Get recipes for red potato salads.

    Spud Preparation And Cooking

    Learning how to make potato salad is easy, but the cooking step is critical to the final texture. Peel and cut the potatoes into large pieces, ¾-inch dice. This size retains nice chunks when stirred and later eating. Cook the potatoes in salted, cold water. Bring water to a boil, and reduce to a simmer.

    This process allows the flavor of the salt to be absorbed and gives an evenly cooked texture. However, dont overcook! They should be fork-tender but still hold together when pierced, so they dont fall apart entirely when mixed. I like to check every few minutes. It takes about 15 minutes to cook the potatoes.

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